The world was shocked with the scope of NSA’s spying programs once highly classified documents were leaked by Edward Snowden. Since the very first leak about NSA’s PRISM program, that have been a steady stream of such revelations. Der Spiegel of Germany has received a new cache of documents, not from Snowden, which basically form a catalog of backdoors that the agency can use to infiltrate hardware manufactured by companies such as Cisco, Juniper Networks, Huawei, Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital and Samsung. There’s no proof in the documents that any of these companies have explicitly allowed the NSA to use said backdoors.
The catalog lists products developed by the Advanced/Access Network Technology division of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit, which is primarily into hacking and cracking. It includes $30 monitor cables which can mirror everything being displayed on the target monitor to $40,000 worth of equipment which can fool cellphones and mobile networks. It is also claimed that the ANT division is also capable of injecting malicious code into BIOS firmware, the first bit of code that loads up when a computer a powered on. This would allow the division to effectively spy on a target long-term with minimum risk of detection. Companies mentioned in the report offer boiler plate replies, Cisco says that it doesn’t work with any government to modify its equipment, whereas Western Digital, juniper Networks and Huawei claim no knowledge of these backdoors.
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